Thursday, February 22, 2007


I should do a T13 today, but I figured instead, I would relate three conversations I've had in the last 10 minutes.

Last night we had Papa Murphy's take-n-bake pizza and I got a small cheesy bread, which I saved for tonight. After some deliberation, I made it into a chicken pizza and stirred up some brownies to bake while we ate. Near the end of dinner, I got up to check the gooey goodness and sat back down. "2 More minutes", I mouthed to Champs, not yet ready to divulge the surprise to the rest of the family. Sweet Girl looked at me and asked, "what's in the oven, Mom?"

"The thermometer", I said.

"What is it checking the temperature of?" asked mini me.

"The oven", quoth I

"Oh", she breathed... and asked again "well, what's in the oven?"

"The rack", I quipped.

"What's it holding?" she tried one last time to get me to give up the goods.

"The thermometer". Champs and Grandma laughed. She sighed and gave up. Sometimes trying to talk circles around mom just won't work!


Later, I walked into the living room, past a couple of baskets full of laundry which, to my dismay, were still in the living room and not put away in our bedroom, which is Champs' assigned household duty. I went over to the coffee table where Champs was lounging and playing a video game (or was he watching T.V.? I'm not sure). I bent down and said quietly, "you know what I did on Monday night?"


"I did laundry. And I finished it on Tuesday night. Now it's Thursday. Are you wondering what your part in this is?"

"No", he deadpanned.

"Oh", I answered. "And are you wondering how hard I am going to hit you?"

He just laughed at me and went on with his game, knowing that he can push my buttons just as well as he can Madden 2000 .


Finally, I went out to the kitchen to cut up the now cooled marshmallow-slathered brownies. Ala' Alton Brown, I had baked them in a pan lined with parchment paper, so I could lift them out of the pan to cut them up. With all the melted marshmallows on top, the knife got gunked up pretty quickly - all full of warm, yummy gooeyness. I contemplated the knife and raised it to wipe it off with my fingers. As I raised it, my mom yelped, "you're not going to put that in your mouth, are you?"

"No!" I scoffed. "Do I look that stupid?"

She looked at me for a moment with the unspoken comment that when chocolate is involved...

"Never mind. Don't answer that."

Here are some comments from this post:
princssis said...
MMMM - So, how were they? Would this happen to be the special box of brownies I bought?
K - I need a chocolate fix now. And I don't have any brownie mix. (darn!)

kenju said...
Mmmmmm....bownies! I had some last week. Champs is related to mr. kenju, I think....LOL. Laundry here can remain in the basket for days and days!

Linda said...
I will lick the knife...if it's only my family eating, chances are we've already shared all the germs, between kissing and coughing and sneezing and blowing raspberries (I have young'uns!)
And I lick SHARP knives too...and don't cut my tongue!
Now I have to make brownies....sigh. Maybe I'll give in and make healthier raspberry bars instead.

carli said...
What time do you want me for dinner tomorrow night?

Minerva said...
You have me SALIVATING...
Pass some over here, or at least the recipe...

Shannin said...
Thinking of you and hoping Champs finds something soon! Still keeping my ears peeled if anything comes up with The Company.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Daddy's Situation from Sweet Girl's Perspective

Well, if you've read my last few posts, you know that Champs was laid off on Monday. We're into the world of unemployment, on-line job searches and resumes all over town.

The down side is that we have no money.

As a parent, it is easy to see the down side - and forget that there may be an upside.

However, there is Sweet Girl's perspective. See, Champs worked from 3:00 - 11:00 p.m., so Sweet Girl only got to see him for about 20 minutes before and after school each day. When he came home early on Monday, she didn't ask why. We waited until Tuesday evening just before supper to explain to her why Daddy was home at this unusual time. I explained that sometimes, a company has too many workers - more workers than work to do - and so they have to let some of them go so that they no longer work there.

Champs followed along and gave some additional input as I explained that this is what happened to her Daddy. She understood that Champs didn't do anything wrong - it was because of the company, not him. We explained that money will be very tight for our family until Daddy finds a new job - and that we are hoping that this time, when he starts a new job, it will be during the day when she is at school.

Sweet Girl sat quietly through our explanation and then I asked her if she had any questions. She sat silent for a minute, thinking and then asked, "so Daddy will be home when I am home now"? Champs and I nodded. Sweet Girl hopped off her seat, ran into the family room and started dancing, hooting and singing that Daddy was home.

I know she can't see the whole situation, but seeing her perspective reminded us of the Bible's exhortation to thank the Lord at all times. Remember that it says a child will lead them? Well, she did.

Thank You, Lord, for Champs being laid off. Thank You that he can be with his Sweet Girl - and his Blond Girl - for dinner each night. Thank You that he can be here to put her to bed and say her prayers with her. Thank You that we can trust You to care for us. Thank You, in advance, for the perfect daytime job!

And most of all, Thank You for Sweet Girl and her joyful perspective to teach us.

Here are some comments from this post:
Geekwif said...
1. How adorable and sweet is she. I can just see her dancing around the room nearly squealing in delight that her daddy will be home with her.
2. I'm so glad she was able to shine some light on your situation. Like Little B said the other night, this may just be the answer to your prayers by allowing Champs to get the job God has for him.
3. Holy cow Sweet Girl's hair is getting long!!!
4. And have you ever seen such skinny little arms!
5. I miss your girl. I miss you too, but seeing that picture just reminded me of her and how much I miss her.

ShopaholicsDaily said...
What a great way to turn things around. I'm not sure that would have been my first thought, but sometimes you do have to look at the world through a child's eyes!

David said...
praying for God's blessing on your family in this transition

Carmi said...
I am always amazed at children's ability to see the world in simple, honest tones, and to find the good in pretty much anything. You've got one very special little girl there, no doubt because you've both been such great parents to her.
I wish I lived closer so I could actually help. If I can be of virtual assistance, please don't be shy.

Catherine said...
It's strange that Michele sent me to this post, because my husband was laid off last week. And when I went to my part-time job intending to tell my boss that I would have to look for an extra part-time job, or a fulltime one, he offered me extra hours. Before I even asked. Of course, I only get about a third of the pay rate my husband did, as he worked in a highly specialised field for many years. But I have a feeling things will be OK for us, and for you too. Here's hoping for the perfect daytime job for him.

Sarch said...
blond girl you can count on me for prayer support from down here in Alabama. I know this is a difficult time for you, but I know that if you'll keep your faith in God through this it will work out to your good and His glory! You and Champ and Sweet Girl will look back at this at some point and say, "There was a time where the Lord sustained us."
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Veda said...
Great explanation! Kids are fantastic at finding the up-side to just about anything, and what kid that age doesn't want only to be with Mom and Dad? Great post, Blond Girl!

Mr. Althouse said...
That's really nice, really. Sometimes it takes a child to completely ignore the periphery and remind us of what it's really all about.
Michele sent me,


kenju said...
Blond Girl, you and Champs are definitely seeing the silver lining to the cloud. I hope that he will find a good job soon, one that will continue to allow him to be home with you and Sweet Girl for dinner!

MissMeliss said...
Trust a child to only see the best and brightest bit of a situation. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sure you'll get through this and come out the better for it.

Thumper said...
I'm glad you're able to see the bright side to things. I think I'd be puking up toenails if the Spouse Thingy lost his job... I hope Champs finds something *soon.*


Momish said...
Oh, its always wonderful to find the bright side to a previously scary and sad situation. And, it is even better when your child leads to you that revelation!
Best of luck to you both. Hang in there and enjoy the unexpected time together as much as possible.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

13 Things About All the SNOW!

Well, Champaign got hit with 10 inches of snow on Tuesday and we're still reeling from it. So I bring you 13 Things about all this silly snow:

1. A winter storm watch was posted on Monday for Tuesday during the day. The school districts closed on Monday at 3:00 - hours before a flake had fallen. Wimps.

2. Monday was a pretty mild day; about 33 degrees. So after work (and while waiting to find out if Champs still had a job) I went out and chipped the ice from the previous snow off the end of our driveway. I figured a clean slate would be easier to work with. I expected my neighbors to do the same, but I didn't see anyone else taking advantage of the opportunity. I guess some things you just learn from living in a snowy climate.

3. Before we went to bed, we got all our vehicles off the street and onto the clean driveway. This served two purposes; to keep our cars from getting stuck in the street and to help keep the driveway cleaner. Again, none of the neighbors did this.

4. By the time we woke up on Tuesday morning, the snow was halfway up the tires and the plows were just getting out. Since the schools were closed, I didn't go to work. Mostly, I just wanted to be home with Champs to help him and me look for better jobs.

5. Mid-day Tuesday the IL-DOT closed the highways. The plows couldn't keep up. They would plow the snow and it would blow back on the road. They never saw how MN DOT does it; they use a huge snow blower plow and blow it into huge dump trucks that remove the snow and cart it away, not just pile it up at the side of the highway.

6. By noon on Tuesday the district declared the schools closed on Wednesday, fearing that the plows wouldn't get the roads cleared in time. Wimpy Wimps.

7. On Tuesday, Champs went out late afternoon and snowplowed our driveway and a neighbor's driveway. It was still snowing, but it's always easier to get out after a big snow if you move some of it part way through. Again, must be a Minnesota thing, because no one else was out trying to clear up that we could see. Champs has a bright orange snow suit that he wore to get the plowing done. He sure won't get hit by a snow plow wearing that thing. That is, if a snow plow ever comes...

8. The snow finally ended around 6:00 p.m. or so, leaving us with 10 inches. You can no longer see the grill on our back patio. Our back door drifted shut, so my mom's dog, Lucy, had to go out front to do her, um, business. Since she's only 9 inches tall and hairy, she wasn't too happy about the snow thing. Mom was concerned about putting a leash on Lucy since the front yard is not fenced like the back yard. I told her she needn't worry; the dog barely went two feet from the house and zoomed back inside the moment she was done.

9. Wednesday morning, the highways were still closed and the plows had barely gotten anything. The major grid roads were cleared, but none of the residential streets. Thankfully, my little zoom-zoom car is a great snow vehicle and got me right through. The streets were nearly deserted. Going steadily and carefully, I got to work in a surprisingly fast 10 minutes.

10. Since he was home, Champs got our driveway completely cleared and helped to get three neighbors unstuck (from our as-yet unplowed streets), as well as snowplowed two more driveways. They all said "well, you're from Minnesota, so you're used to this, right?" Pretty much, it seems.

11. A full 24 hours after the storm ended, our residential streets were not plowed. Whatever! On top of that, at 7:00 p.m. the district declared our schools closed AGAIN on Thursday. The reason? One or two of the school parking lots weren't plowed yet. They couldn't have a few schools open and a few closed, so they closed them all. Wimpiest Wimpy Wimps! I bet a few of the dads with plows on their trucks would have gladly cleared up the problem to get their kids back in class on Thursday morning.

12. By this morning, the residential streets were finally plowed - except where people left their cars stuck in the roads. City officials didn't start towing cars until Wednesday evening. In Minneapolis, they declare a snow emergency as soon as there is an inch of snow and start towing violators immediately. The plows are not as hindered by cars. Residents just know; if it's gonna snow, get your cars off the street. Another Minneapolis snow knowledge thing, I guess.

13. I went to work today; the streets finally plowed and everything open. Here's the funny part; it took me 18 minutes to get there! No joke. People here don't know how to drive in the snowy stuff. Case in point: one women went down a curvy street at 5 MPH. I am not exaggerating. There was a line of cars built up behind her at least 15 vehicles long. I'm sorry, but if you're afraid to drive when it's all been plowed, then you should probably stay home. Call the school district, they'll condone it.

The point of this blow-by-blow is that the city planners here could learn something from Minneapolis. We had a humdinger of a storm last March; 13-20 inches. More than 120 buses were stuck in the snow and 20,000 plus people lost power. By the next morning, the streets were cleared, the power was on and school - every school - was in session. No highways closed and no one missed three days of school. So this town doesn't get as much snow as Minneapolis does. It would still be nice if they would learn to be prepared when it does!

Here are some comments from this post:
Sarch said...
Blond Girl you cracked me up with this post. "Wimpiest wimpy wimps" - LOL

My gosh but you are harsh! :-)

MissMeliss said...
This may have been a rant, but having lived in SoDak where there is serious winter, it made me laugh and nod in agreement. Wimpy wimps indeed!

Stacie said...
I'm from Michigan and it used to snow like crazy there when I was a kid. I always have to laugh when here in CT, they close schools the night before because it's "supposed" to snow...
Wimps indeed! Unbelievable. Sometimes they cancel school if we get snow on a weekend, because they don't want to pay a janitor to come in on a sunday (they'd have to pay overtime) to shovel the they cancel school. No kidding!

Veda said...
Hey, Blond Girl. Midwest winters are not for the faint of heart, that's for sure! I would think though that Illinois would be better at handling it all. I've been through MN in the winter - you're right, much clearer than the rest of that trip. Here via...Veda's (thanks for the really great comment, btw)!

last year we had plenty ( but late) this year we can hardly scrape together enough for the skiers.
funny weather, but Calif is like that. lovely rant, did you learn that in MN also? hehe
here from miss melliss

L-Girl said...
Yay!! A snow day!! I love those. You guys were ahead of the game!

Geekwif said...
I have to agree with the wimpy wimps thing. I think I wouldn't mind if Minneapolis was just a teeny bit wimpier though. Three days off is a bit much, but one might be nice now and then. ;)

Carmi said...
I so relate to this list. Montreal's public works department approaches winter snow clearing with the discipline of a military unit. Their response protocol defines what kind of equipment is deployed at what stage of a given snow event, and the result is a city whose roads are usually quite usable during and after the largest of storms.
Here in London, our winters are far less severe. But the city seems to have no snow clearing capability whatsoever. Streets are ignored for weeks at a time, sidewalks accumulate dangerous layers of snow and ice. People have accidents - in cars and on foot - that could have been avoided.
I'm amazed the city hasn't been sued more often.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

When all is said and done, it comes down to love

Well, it is Valentine's Day - the day of love, hearts, flowers and candy. I've certainly had more celebratory Valentine's Days in my past - more "romantic" or "special". If I had to label this day, I would call it the "year of superglue" Valentine's Day. Because, this year, more than any so far, Champs is glued to my heart.

You see, this has been a very hard last 5 months. If you read my blog, you know that. Well, this week seems to be the topper. On Monday, I contacted the guy who is supposed to be heading up my big new freelancing opportunity and was basically given the brush off, i.e. "you're in our network of valuable writers and we'll call you when we're ready. Until then, leave me alone" type of thing. This has caused me to re-think the freelance thing. I still want to do it, but I will have to get a good full time job and then start the freelancing slower and safer in order for it to work for our family. This was a blow to my emotions, as you can imagine.

Then. later in the day, Champs was laid off from his job. They had to let the 6 newest guys go, regardless of job performance due to business slowdown. Champs' supervisor was sad to see him go, but that didn't stop them from sending him home at 6:00. This was an even bigger blow to my emotions - and Champs', too, of course.

Oh, and then we got the biggest snow storm in recent history on Tuesday morning. 10 inches of snow by5:00 p.m. and they still haven't plowed our street and school is still closed. I got back to work today but stayed home yesterday, mostly to wait out the worst of the snow and to apply for jobs online.

Today, this man I love and who I consider more self-less than anyone I know, braved the snow to go out and apply for jobs and still found the time to snowplow three of our neighbors out of their snowbound driveways. I know it's not flowery, but it is one of the things that makes me love him so much.

So why the glue thing? Well, through all of this, I have marveled at how well Champs and I have treated one another. We aren't given to yelling, calling each other names or otherwise snapping under stress. We tend to pull together and talk things out under the covers. Even though all this stuff is going on, I know he loves me and I love him. Regardless of our employment. Regardless of rent. Regardless of our lack of money. Regardless of my wish for my old "secure" job. Even though I don't know how we're going to pay the rent and the heat and the other bills, I do know that he'll be with me, holding my hand, praying with me, treating me with love and respect and trying for all he is worth to make it work for us.

And that, my friends, is superglue.

Here are some comments from this post:
utenzi said...
That, my dear girl, is what it all comes down to. Sticking together when all that **** outside is trying to tear things apart. You both have something wonderful together, BG.
Happy Valentine's Day, Blond Girl. Even if the times are bad it's good that you can look at one another and realize that you already have all that you need.

9:51 PM
Blogger Ginger said...
What a poignant post. I will definitely be keeping you and Champs in my prayers. You are so blessed to have each other...both in the good and bad times.

10:05 PM
Blogger slf1954 said...
You are both "super". You will make it through this just fine. When one door closes another one opens.

5:11 AM
Blogger GiBee said...
I just can't get out of my mind the scripture that has been carrying me through these past few weeks ... and it really seems to apply here ...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
But, if you have a chance, and feel so inclined ... check out Jeremiah 29:11-14 ... because it is powerful! In fact, if I have a chance, I'll be blogging about it in the next few days.
In the mean time, I'm going to be lifting "Blond Girl and family" up in my prayers!

9:36 AM
Blogger Carmi said...
Your strength in the face of life's challenges is inspiring to me.
Champs: he'll easily find something even better. Anyone with a work/life ethic like his (looking out for others before taking care of his own needs) will do fine.
Freelancing: I'm learning that a successful career in this space depends on connections with more than one potential source of assignments. That way, when one goes silent, you lean more on the others. That takes time to build, of course, because it's all based on networking and relationship building. But please don't give up because one source has gone temporarily silent. You can do so much more for so many others as long as you view this as a bit of a kick in the rear.
Adversity, as you so well appreciate, breeds ambition and drive. That's very very clear in your case.

Sarch said...
Blond Girl you've got Champs, you've got Sweet Thing and most of all you've got the Lord.
All three will still be there when the unemployment struggles are nothing but a memory.
Keep the faith my friend.

Heather said...
I'm sorry to hear that, Blond Girl. You'll all be in my prayers.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

What you Ask For Vs. What You Get!

Or, be careful what you ask for; you may get it!

Tuesday morning I awoke with the weatherman's warnings ringing in my ears: Snow. Lots of Snow. All Day. OK, I can handle that, I figured. But as I was brushing my teeth and encouraging Sweet Girl to get her clothes on, I groaned to Champs, "Oh, I don't want to go to work today!" Roughly three minutes later the phone rang; it was my mother-in-law, who we call Grandma Dee. She explained that her tracheostomy had become clogged and she had to remove it. In order to get it reinserted, she needed to see her Otolaryngologist in Springfield - 85 miles away. Guess what? I didn't go to work, but I also didn't curl back up in bed like I really wanted to do.

Since we had to wait for Grandma Dee's doctor to get out of surgery, we didn't need to leave until 10:30. All the while, the snow was blowing and piling up. I picked up Grandma and off we went. Now, I am a Minnesota girl and snow doesn't faze me, but this was amazing! For the first hour of our trip, we were in white out conditions. As we hit the highway, I prayed that God would give me wisdom as I drove, help us to arrive safely and keep our wheels on the road.

Within a few minutes, I was smack dab behind two semi trucks which added to the whiteout problem. They had the outside lane to themselves, while the left inside lane was covered in blowing snow and ice. I had no choice; I had to pass the trucks on the left if I wanted to be able to see anything. I tried for at least 15 minutes, but I couldn't seem to get past them. Finally, I dropped back. I couldn't see the trucks ahead of me or any vehicles behind me. Another car came up and braved the left lane and I went right behind, following their ruts. It was hard work; the car was vibrating with the wind and snow. My muscles got so tight, but finally I got past them. The difference was amazing; I could see!

We continued on the trip and the snow thinned out as we neared Springfield. I passed two tankers and was in the left lane. Thankfully, there were no other cars near us. That's good, because about three miles out of town, I suddenly hit a patch of black ice. In an instant, I went from driving to ice skating. The car spun 180 degrees to the right, careening across the highway. Just as we neared the right shoulder, the car turned and spun to the left, this time going a full 360 degrees. The whole time, Grandma Dee was whispering "JESUS!" (since screaming won't work when you have a temporary treacheostomy in your throat) and I was silent, just doing my best to steer into the skid and hold it together. We flew across all the lanes, back and forth as though the car were hitting invisible bumpers and bouncing off. After about 1500 or so yards, we finally came to a stop, facing forward, on the edge of the highway at the left shoulder. The car was fine. We were fine. Amazingly, we didn't go into the ditch. After a few moments of just breathing and thanking the Lord, the two tankers went by and honked as if to say "good show!"

Grandma Dee broke the silence by reminding me, "well, you prayed that He would keep your wheels on the road. He did." Yeup. I got what I asked for - kind of. Next time I'll pray that, in addition to keeping my wheels on the road, He keeps them going forward! As I eased the car back onto the road, we marveled at how we had been protected. I drove around a bend where we could see a horrible sight; a state trooper and a tow truck were flanking a van resting on the right shoulder with the side completely crumpled in and the door ripped off. Truly, we had no words. We shook with gratitude, fear and wonder the rest of the way to the hospital, knowing that the hand of God had kept us safe.

When we got to the hospital and clinic, I had the car parked by valet parking (a very nice service for patients) and we went up to see her doctor. We got in right away, but the doctor explained that, in order to insert the proper trachea tube, she would have to put Dee under general anesthesia; surgery - and not until sometime after 4:00. Ugg! With the weather we were facing, I had wanted to be back on the road home in daylight. No way that was happening. I called Champs and we decided that, rather than heading back home in the dark and bad weather, I should stay in Springfield. I hadn't brought anything for an overnight, but oh well. I made a reservation at a local hotel and planned to stay with Grandma through the surgery.

Now, this part is a bit complicated, but basically, prior to yesterday's issue, Grandma Dee has needed to have a new special type of trachea tube inserted. The surgery was planned for some unspecified time in the future. I asked the doctor if, since Dee had to go under anyway, she could go ahead and insert the special tube - kind of a "two birds with one stone" approach. The doctor agreed that this would be a good idea and planned for it. Problem: that tube is a special order, costing over $1000.00. The surgical staff scoured the supplies for the special Montgomery tube. They thought they finally found one at a nearby hospital, but it turned out to be the wrong tube. You guessed it: No surgery today. The doctor could have put in a different tube, but then she would have had to operate again anyway to put in the special tube. By the time the decision was made, however, it was nearing 7:00. The doctor admitted Grandma to the hospital to await surgery on Thursday and to monitor the condition of the temporary tube. See, there it is again. Be careful what you ask for. Now, I know the doctor would have figured it out herself, but I am the one who asked her to use the special tube and you see - I didn't get exactly what I asked for! Thankfully, Dee understood that the wait will give a better return in the long run and was able to deal with the delay with a great attitude.

I called Champs and told him I could come home then or wait until morning. I explained that I would have to go to CVS and buy some toiletries and a tee shirt to sleep in. He said that was fine; in the end, it was better to spend some money and get home safely than it was to risk coming home in the dark - especially after my double-donuts experience earlier in the day. He told me to go to the hotel, crank up the heat, say my prayers, get some sleep, and come home to him in the morning.

And that's exactly what I did.

And here are some comments from this post:
Star said...
Thank goodness you are okay. That whole experience must have been frightening.

Geekwif said...
I didn't realize from your text messages that it was that bad! I'm so glad you made it safely!

Linda said...
God comes through when we least expect it...
and He always gives us what is BEST for us...not what we want, but what we need.
Glad you're safe...hope you and Grandma Dee don't have any more problems....

kenju said...
WHOA! You are much braver than I am. I stay home in snow and ice, so as not to stress God out with incessant praying...LOL

Pat said...
Your Grandma is blessed to have a dear grand-daughter like you. But you shouldn't have to go through an ordeal like that. I have had some experience with tracheostomies and there should be a closer emergency facility. I'm assuming you are in the States?
Anyway you are a brave girl. Well done!

Madame Courtney Whiny Complainy Pants, Esq. said...
There's a comedian, Brian Regan, who has a bit about how hospitals should have valet parking. He'd be pleased to know that one exists out there.
Glad you made it through the snow. Hope Grandma's ok. Here via Michele.

Paul said...
Holy cow!
That's the kinda weather we had here in Pancake Flats, which is only a few hours from Springfield. It's Tuesday. We got 5 - 8 inches of snow last night. No fun on the roads this morning, but there's been so much wind today that the roads are almost dry. Go figure. It's brutally cold!!! Where's my coffee???
I'm glad you're home safe with your Champs. God bless.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Nine years with Champs

Wednesday morning was a few days ago, but I still must mention it. It marked an important day for me and my family. It was the nine year anniversary of the day Champs and I met.

Nine years ago I was a thirty year-old woman who was quickly becoming frustrated with being alone and following the requirements of everyone around me, so I gave up on trying to find a husband and made some major changes. I threw out my "husband requirements list". I changed clothes, parties and attitude and decided to just have some fun for a change. It was in the midst of this revolution that I met Champs in a on-line chat room quite by accident. You never know what life has in store for you when you quit looking!

In Champs, I found someone beyond special. He didn't have most of the items on my list, but he was everything I've ever wanted or needed. We talked online for a month before we met in person. By the time I met him, I already knew I was in love - I just needed the final face-to-face to make it official. And though I quickly knew he was "the one", it has been the last nine years that have proven time and time again how right I was.

Champs spends quality time with me and Sweet Girl. Every morning for at least 5 minutes we snuggle in bed together talking, laughing and tickling. On Saturdays, this time can extend to an hour or more. Sweet Girl starts each day knowing that her father loves both her and her mother. I believe this is the best gift he can give her. Just the other day she told me that when she grows up and gets married, she is going marry a man like her daddy, who will treat her as nicely as he treats us.

Champs cooks, cleans and cares for Sweet Girl. I know many women who wish their husband would help around the house, but they don't. Or if they do, it is only to man the grill for a party or to watch the kids while Mom is away at a family emergency. Champs, on the other hand, has always believed that a marriage is a partnership in which the husband is just as responsible for the home and children as the wife. While I am responsible for the over-all running of the house, Champs willingly lends a hand whenever I ask - and often when I don't have the time to ask.

Champs is a great romantic. He tells me he loves me every day with words, notes, hugs and snuggles. He refuses to belittle, hurt or tease me in any hurtful way. He's never once called me fat, dumb, lazy or any of the other things other wives have had to endure from their husbands. He tells me I am smart, capable, "cute-n-stuff" and his dream girl. He gives me confidence when I lack it on my own.

Champs is consistent. Our move to IL has been difficult for me emotionally, professionally and financially. I struggle with it daily, wanting to cut and run back to Minneapolis. Champs reminds me of why we made this move and the benefits of being here. He doesn't try to gloss over my fears or pretend that everything is hunky-dory, but he does remind me that this is a journey of faith and trust. He prays with me and encourages me to keep going.

No, he's not perfect. There are some things that drive me crazy; just like there are things about me that drive him crazy (like always being late or constantly needing him to get things down for me that are too high). The point is that he is wonderful for me. And for Sweet Girl. And that nine years ago I met him - and on Wednesday morning, he gave me a poem that he wrote just for me to commemorate the occasion.

I love that man.

Here are some comments from this post:
Carmi said...
What a beautiful entry, BG. Happy anniversary to you both: you certainly sound as if fate has been kind to you.
It's hard to not smile and be inspired after reading this.

Ginger said...
What a sweet post! Happy anniversary of your meeting, to both of you. :)

kenju said...
Congratulations on the anniversary of your meeting Champs. He really sounds like a keeper to me.

Melli said...
Hey there Blond Girl! I just saw you over at Wendy Wings place and I just HAD to stop by to tell you how much I LOOOOOOOOVE your hat! (really... that's what brought me here!)
Happy belated anniversary! I hear more and more of these internet romances - and I gotta say that judging from the FRIENDSHIPS that I have developed on-line, I think it's a great way to meet a fella! ESPECIALLY when you're not lookin! Congrats! To you both!

carli said...
What a nice entry. It sounds like once you decided you were ready for reality over fantasy, you found what you were looking for all along. Congrats.

HolyMama! said...
he gave you a poem that he WROTE JUST FOR YOU....
there must be a husband award for him. a plaque. a medal. that is the sweetest thing next to your writing of this post.

Thumper said...
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Here's to hoping that in 3 times the length you've been married, you'll still be gushing about him :)

kenju said...
Michele told me to come back, BG and as I reread your post I stopped at the line "Champs is consistent". How important that is in maintaining a relationship - whether just a friend or a mate!

Mr. Althouse said...
That's a nice story. Ok, I'm officially envious. I guess when the time is right, everything will come together.
Michele says, "Happy anniversary."
And so do I,

Pat said...
Sounds like you have found your true love. It took me many, many years. Dreams can come true

Paul said...
Happy anniversary. Nice post.
You left a delightful comment on my "Don't..." post recently. I consider it a compliment of the highest order. Thank you.